Aurifil 2018 September Designer of the Month Sharon Holland

I’m Designer, Author, Talk Show host Pat Sloan.

In 2010 I created the first original Block of the month for Aurifil and it was so much fun we’ve done it ever year since! 2018 is the start of my 8th year running this super fun program.  Learn more about how it works at our intro of the 2018 team

This year we challenged each designer to create a block inspired by ‘The Places We Go’ and I asked them to use  black & white fabrics  + a color of their choice.

Sharon is a gorgeous artist and fabric designer. I am thrilled that she joined us this year!  If you have not been following her work you need to. Sharon’s photos of her quilts will have you redecorating your home, and she wrote the book to show you how to use quilts everywhere!

Listen to our chat HERE on Finding your style

visit her at Sharon Holland Designs

Missed a month? CLICK FOR PRIOR DESIGNER interviews

Remember we have a Challenge portion of our Designer of the Month interview.

Each month we select one random winner to receive a 12 LARGE spool BOX of Aurifil thread for just making the challenge block and sharing it! Details at the end plus last month’s winner!

Let’s get to know Sharon!


  • Where do you live?

I currently live in Ohio, near Cincinnati.


  • When was your FIRST quilt sighting?

I can’t actually say when quilts grabbed my attention because no one in my family had been a quilter. Somewhere during college I got the big idea to take up quilting. I had no clue what I was doing and in retrospect picked a difficult block pattern for my first queen-size quilt. It had Y-seams and I didn’t even use all the same sort of material as I was on a college budget and mix synthetic and home dec weight fabrics. Instead of quilting it I finished the top by tying. Sorry, I don’t have any photos of the quilt or even the quilt anymore. But, my second quilt was much more realistic in construction and it was a tied Nine-Patch in all cottons that was a gift to my sister in 1985. I had progresses a lot by my third quilt and the following year made a full-size quilt with Odd Fellow blocks and Flying Geese border. It took me four months to finish that quilt and was my first attempt at hand quilting.


  • Have you had a ‘light bulb’ moment in making?

My light bulb moment was when I realized my sewing machine needle could be moved side to side to get the perfect 1/4’’ seam allowance using any standard sewing machine foot.

  • What does your studio look like, and what would you change in it? 

My sewing room has to be the least decorated or inspiring designer’s workroom on this planet! It was hard even coming up with photos for this and I’ll explain why. I recently did a make over of my sewing room and put in hardwood flooring, neutral wall color, and a picture rail molding around the the room near the ceiling to turn my room into a sewing/photography studio.

My sewing room’s purposely keep undecorated and as uncluttered as I can keep it because it becomes a photo studio that can be reconfigured any way I need to photograph my quilts and project. I can quickly clip up a design wall when sewing or a quilt to photograph flat on the wall using the picture rail molding system. I can hang art anywhere without putting nail holes in the walls when styling the space. I move furniture and props where it’s needed to style the room for a photo and have designated the two largest wall areas as studio walls for photography.

Example is the baby’s room photo where I styled the room with projects from my Signature fabric line for Art Gallery Fabrics. The other side of the room has a double window and closet where I store things. My sewing machine cabinet holds the sewing machine folds up into, looks like an amour when closed is on the working side of the room. The cutting table floats in the room and right now is at the end of a full-size guest bed. Oh, and this room still also serves as a guest room when needed!

  • Anything else you’d like to share? 

Quilter’s are still enjoying the freedom from perfection that my Utility-Style Quilts for Everyday Living book from Landauer Publishing (2017) brings to making quilts to be used everyday. I’m having fun remaking the quilts in my new Signature fabric line for Art Gallery Fabrics. I’ve added the Castle Garden quilt pattern to my Store on my website. I’m excited to have been featured in the “Getting to Know…” spread in the Fall 2018 Quilts and More magazine.


  •  What location inspired your block?

New York City is the inspiration for my block. I chose to represent the Big Apple with the obvious shape of an apple. What may not be as obvious is the day-to-night vertical reference to skyscrapers using the grayscale strips.

My youngest son moved to NYC around two and half years ago. He’s an industrial designer and extremely talented. I’m in awe of how this Midwest boy took to the city life without missing a step.

My first time visiting him in Brooklyn was March of 2017 and then again this spring. I have to say New York is beautiful and an assault to senses all at once!

I love the museums, parks, history, live theater, shops, people watching, and bustle. I think everyone should experience New York—ride the subway, walk the streets, take in all the cultural exhibits. You’ll come away with a greater appreciation for diversity and understanding and acceptance.

Next year, my oldest boy will move to the D.C. area so next year we’ll have to add that city to our Eastern states tour!


DOWNLOAD Sharon’s ‘Big Apple’ Aurifil Quilt Block


  • A Few Fun Questions – What does your Garden look like? 

    We also tend a vegetable garden. It’s not overly big but gives us plenty to put up for canning and table use during the season. I start all my vegetables from seeds indoors during the winter then transplant them to the garden once it’s warm enough in the spring.

I’ve included a photo of my tomato plants because I use the selvages from making quilt backing to tie up my tomato plants. Selvage edges are strong and wont cut into the plants, plus, how cool is it that I tie up my tomatoes with selvages with my name on them??!?!?!I’ve not had the time to have an amazing garden but I do have some garden areas that if photographed right, look amazing! This has been a fabulous year for my coneflowers and I took dozens of photos that can serve as textile design inspiration later this year.

  • How many sewing machines do you own? 

    I have Seven machines. Two are vintage but non-working and purely photo props.

    My oldest machine is the little black hand-cranked machine that actually works but only sews a chain stitch so I think it was supposed to sew feed bags closed or something like that—I don’t know it’s history.

    I have a serger for garment sewing and a mid-arm Platinum 16 for machine quilting.

    My go-to sewing machine is a Janome Memory Craft 4000 that I bought in 1996—I love that machine and have never felt I’ve needed to update it yet.

    The sewing machine that holds the best memory for me is the Singer from my grandma’s estate. It’s in perfect working order and my back up machine if I need one. Although I don’t use it much, just knowing it’s here and that she sewed with it and loved it is important to me.

Visit Sharon at:

CLICK TO MY Website to see a few ‘Pro Tips’ for construction & all my blocks together!

Pat sloan thread kitEnter your block BELOW by Sept 14, 2018 to be in the running to win a BOX of Aurifil

This is SUPER EASY to enter all you have to do is make ONE BLOCK.

last month’s winner is below

And  JOIN my fantastic online quilt group with the most incredible  quilt show each day… I’d love to meet you!

1 Watermak-Needle-Black

******* JOIN our Aurifil Family  *******

EACH MONTH we will pick one random winner that has made a block.. that person will receive a special Aurifil thread prize! Winners are all contacted email

Our RANDOM picker had to select the winners, your AUGUST blocks are outstanding!

Our monthly winner is #23-Laura!  This awesome quilter has been emailed and WON a BOX of Aurifil thread!  .. see all the great versions HERE

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